Town lights up solar tree in downtown Boone

Article Published: Dec. 23, 2009 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Town lights up solar tree in downtown Boone

Boone Mayor Loretta Clawson addresses the crowd just before she pulls the switch to light the town's solar-powered Christmas tree at the Jones House last Wednesday.

Photo by Rob Moore

Gathering amid last Wednesday night's freezing temperatures, nearly 100 people watched as a solar-lit Christmas tree powered up at the Jones House in Boone.

The lights are powered by a solar panel that charges during the day and stores captured energy in lead-acid batteries for the nighttime illumination.

The tree's light emitting diodes (LEDs) use less energy than filament bulbs.

Before the event, there was concern that the lights might not work.

Word spread that the batteries had been drained due to the cold weather, that the charging unit of the solar tree had not been activated, and even that the switches for the power had been reversed.

But the tree did light up and was ushered in by speeches from Ged Moody, Appalachian State University faculty advisor for the Sustainable Energy Society, Amy Metsker and Boone Mayor Loretta Clawson, each of whom voiced the desire for a vibrant future realized by some of the technologies employed in the lighting of tree.

Raffle tickets were sold during the event, backed by more than $3,000 worth of prizes.

The prizes were awarded at Galileo's on King Street, where the Sustainable Energy Society scheduled live music that included bands such as Woodgrain, Guard the Van, and the Native Sway.

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